Get Them to Flash Their Certificates When Buying Flash Drives

There are so many promotional USB flash drive suppliers springing up today that it’s often difficult to work out who’s a legitimate, supplier that sells top quality products that won’t let you down or more importantly won’t let your brand and your customers down with the supply of shoddy and inferior products.

Buying USB flash drives should be straightforward; you choose the model/style you want, you decide on the memory size you need and the quantity you want, you work out how many colours are in the your logo that you want printing on them and then you approach a number of different companies for competitive pricing – easy isn’t it?

Well no, not quite. Unfortunately not all flash drives are created equal and not all suppliers of flash drives are completely open and candid when providing quotes so it’s often difficult to know what you’re being quoted for and it’s therefore really difficult to know that you’re comparing “apples with apples” when you review the pricing you’ve been provided.

Some of the more common “scams” include:

  1. Supplying USB flash drives that have been manufactured using Grade B flash memory chips and passing them off as Grade A. This is a really difficult one to deal with because when they’re quoting for your business most suppliers will tell you what you want to hear but the reality is that a lot of promotional flash drives are being supplied with Grade B chips.

    The Flash Chip is the heart of any USB drive – it’s what the data is stored on and it, together with the controller chip determine how quickly the data can be accessed (the read/write speed). A good Grade A chip will have decent usage life (10,000 + read/write cycles), it’ll be reasonably quick and it will have a low failure rate.

    Grade B chips on the other hand are chips that are either “recycled” or failed part of the QA checks during manufacture – they’ll be prone to failure, they’ll typically have slow read/write speeds and they often won’t last more than a few weeks or months in use.

  2. Masking the Flash Drive and passing it off as a drive with a higher capacity than it actually has. Again, this is a tricky one to spot because suppliers who deliver these go out of their way to make the printed USB drives look good, they’ll “mask” the drive so when you plug it in and check it’s properties it will look like it has 1GB of storage (assuming you ordered a 1GB drive), it’ll even allow you to copy up to 1GB of data onto it!

    You can only check if it’s been “masked” by loading 1GB of data onto the drive on one PC, removing the drive and plugging it into another PC. If the data you loaded on the first PC has mysteriously disappeared then you’ll have been supplied with a masked drive – typically the supplier will have used chips that say only have 600MB of actual storage on them and passed them off as a 1GB drive. These “masked” chips are much cheaper for them to buy so they can seemingly offer fantastic and typically unbeatable prices.

  3. Flash drives that are not backed up with RoHS, CE and FCC certificates – There is a lot of legislation around that suppliers of flash drives need to comply with including the Reduction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS). Failure to comply can result in large fines to the supplier and any company that buys from them so please make sure any supplier you choose is fully compliant. Ask to see copies of their certificates to be sure.

    If a supplier has spent time and money to make sure their goods are fully compliant it’s a good indicator that they’ll also be supplying Grade A products.

USB2U RoHS, CE & FCC Certificates

To ensure you don’t get scammed when buying promotional or branded USB flash drives make sure you only deal with reputable companies who have a good trading history; can refer you to lots of happy customers; that underwrite their promises with guarantees that mean something and don’t be embarrassed about asking for copies of Certificates to check their (and their goods) compliance.

Share story